Earlier this week, Justin Bieber was criticized for leaving what was widely perceived as insensitive comments in the guestbook of the Anne Frank House, the museum in Amsterdam set up as a memorial to the young Holocaust victim. However, in a new interview, Frank's stepsister says that the criticism of the pop singer is ridiculous.
"Truly inspiring to be able to come here," the 19-year-old "Baby" singer wrote. "Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber."
Eva Schloss, 83, is the daughter of Fritzi Geiring, who married Anne's father, Otto Frank, after the war in 1953. Her stepfather had lost his wife and two daughters in the Holocaust, and her mom had lost her husband and son. Schloss spoke recently from her home in London with Niel Tweedie, a reporter for the U.K.'s Telegraph, about her new book, "After Auschwitz: My Memories of Otto and Anne Frank," which was published just last week.
"It's so childish," she says regarding the Bieber controversy. "She probably would have been a fan. Why not? He's a young man and she was a young girl, and she liked film stars and music. They make a lot of fuss about everything that is connected with Anne Frank."
Schloss documents in her new book the often-contentious relationship she had with her mother. She says that she and her own three daughters were often forsaken on behalf of Otto and Fritzi's mission to preserve Anne's legacy. Scholss writes about how at one point, she reached out to her mother for support following a miscarriage she had just experienced (while her husband was away in Israel), but her mother said at the time that she and Otto were busy in Denmark and couldn't leave to join her for three more days.
However, Schloss explains that she understood the origins of her mother and stepfather's pain. "It was a wonderful marriage. My mother and Otto loved each other dearly," she says. "Otto would talk continuously about Anne, and I got to know her. It was his obsession, the reason for existence. If a father loses a child that is the worst thing, and it gave him a task: to convey Anne's message to the world."
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